Civil War and Reconstruction MOOC to Relaunch as Self-Paced Series

by | Jan 26, 2018

The Civil War and Reconstruction MOOC (massive open online course) series, Columbia’s first on the edX platform, will relaunch this January as a self-paced series. The first course in the series, The Civil War and Reconstruction – 1850-1861: A House Divided, will launch on January 31, 2018, with additional courses to launch in the coming months. The courses are free and open to all with an optional paid verified certificate.

Led by Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, the MOOC series is divided into three courses that are spread out over 27 sections of stimulating lectures, interactive assignments, and community discussions. Students can progress through the sections at their own pace.

In this short trailer, Professor Foner describes the course’s exploration of how the issue of slavery came to dominate American politics, and how political leaders struggled and failed to resolve the growing crisis in the nation. 

A House Divided: The Road to Civil War, 1850-1861 begins by examining how generations of historians have explained the crisis of the Union. Professor Foner traces how the issue of the expansion of slavery came to dominate national politics, and how political leaders struggled, unsuccessfully, to resolve the growing crisis. Participants will examine the impact of key events such as Bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and end with the dissolution of the Union in the winter of 1860-61.

The second and third installments in the course — 1861 – 1865: A New Birth of Freedom and 1865-1890: The Unfinished Revolution — continue the experience. Students will dive deeper into a discussion of the political, social, and economic changes in the Union and the Confederacy, and the Civil War’s long-term economic and intellectual impact.

Visit edX to register for The Civil War and Reconstruction – 1850-1861: A House Divided and to keep informed about upcoming MOOC releases from ColumbiaX.